Thursday, 29 December 2011

TNA DVD Review: Enigma - The Best of Jeff Hardy Volume 2

TNA DVD Review: Enigma - The Best of Jeff Hardy Volume 2

By Phil Allely

Now back in favour with TNA management this is perhaps the best time to take a look at this recent double DVD set based on the most recent stint in TNA by the ever-popular Jeff Hardy.

Hardy when on form is a wonderfully entertaining and exciting grappler. This release takes us back to his early 2010 re-appearance for the company and follows his subsequent journey, through his main feud and his eagerly anticipated World Title win.

The material on offer here is very relevant and the freshness of it also means this will appeal to newer fans also. The documentary style links work well, as Hardy and many top TNA stars talk about his past indiscretions and how he made his mark once before in TNA before leaving to rejoin the WWE. Hardy himself seems very approachable here, he is honest in his answers and does acknowledge that he is very lucky to be in the position he is in TNA. This was of course before Hardy saw himself removed from active duty (and his title), this DVD timeline takes us right up to the point where TNA management and Sting had to take Hardy off TNA TV and ruin a perfectly enjoyable PPV in doing so. This event is something TNA may approach again down the line I am sure.

Alongside the talking heads and trivia points in the main feature we also get some top notch matches from 2010 TV and PPV events. The matches are all pretty decent ones, featuring Mr Anderson, Kurt Angle, Sting, Shannon Moore, Matt Morgan and a nice tag team scrap where Jeff joined his brother Matt.

Also covered here is Hardy’s heel turn and affiliation with Hulk Hogan’s Immortal faction, we are also told how Hardy’s specially designed title belt came to be and learn that he modelled his early face-painted character on his hero Sting.

Over the course of these two discs (and its five hour plus duration) we the viewer do get a warts and all look at Jeff ‘The Charismatic Enigma’ Hardy and his impact on the wrestling business. Hardy has many outside interests too, he still pursues his musical aspirations and his art, he is now a father and that seems to have curtailed(freely admitted) self-destructing lifestyle.

As Jeff Jarrett says Hardy is a one-man merchandise machine, the fans love him, they buy not only into his persona, but they buy his t-shirts etc too. This DVD is a perfect re-introduction to the present career of one of the industry’s most interesting and innovative performers.

Enigma: The Best of Jeff Hardy Volume 2 is available now from all good retailers.

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

WWE DVD Review - Money in the Bank 2011

WWE DVD Review – Money In The Bank 2011

By Phil Allely

WWE’s Money In The Bank may be a relatively new WWE PPV event, but it does something that many of the more well-known monthly events do. This event usually delivers some very exciting and innovative matches/storylines. The premise of MITB being that both Raw and Smackdown have action packed ladder matches where the winner can grab a briefcase containing a world title shot. This case can be cashed in anytime they want and this concept has enabled some shock title changes and unbelievable WWE TV moments.

With the recent (at the time) high octane statements by CM Punk and the ensuing mayhem they created this event was a firecracker waiting to explode.

The opening match for the Smackdown MITB briefcase was a great way to kick things off. There were some amazing moments, ladder based chaos, set-pieces and sometimes overly booked in-ring action, all involving Sin Cara, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan,Wade Barrett, Kane, Cody Rhodes, Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater.

Needing to slow things down after such a thrilling encounter the Diva Title was up for grabs next. Short and reasonably sweet the brawl between Challenger Kelly Kelly and champ Brie Bella serves its purpose.

Big Show versus Mark Henry was next and a bearable encounter that worked well with their storyline.

Raw’s MITB match fulfilled its lofty expectations as well. This match had it all, dangerous moves, spectacular spots and a return to form for the man who many thought was earmarked for championship gold at Wrestlemania Alberto Del Rio. He faced off against Kofi Kingston, Jack swagger, Evan Bourne, R Truth, Alex Riley, The Miz and Rey Mysterio in a brutal at times encounter.

The World Heavyweight Title match was an interesting one. Challenger Christian of course saw his title dreams shattered in mere days by current champ Randy Orton and he had come up short in encounters ever since. This time the stipulation was that if Orton was DQ’d the belt would change hands, Christian of course would do all he could to attempt to goad Orton into getting disqualified and reclaim his belt. Which is exactly what happened, the in-ring action, storytelling and performances here were spot on.

The hugely popular CM Punk’s challenge for John Cena’s WWE title was not only the main event it was perhaps the match that rejuvenated the company at the time. Recent months had seen fans bore of its matches, PPV viewership have dropped and of course due to injuries etc. many of the top names have been off TV. The WWE needed to do something and you know what this almost ‘shoot style’ scenario with CM Punk may just have done it.

The match itself was above average (considering Cena’s involvement) the brawling, in and out of ring activity and storytelling were superb throughout.

Money In The Bank was a great event all round for the WWE and since then their TV shows have been pretty much essential viewing.

WWE Money In The Bank 2011 is available now from and from all good retailers.

RRP £17.99

Running Time 2hrs 49mins

WWE DVD Review - Capitol Punishment 2011

WWE DVD Review: Capitol Punishment 2011

By Phil Allely

The latest addition to the WWE PPV event list Capitol Punishment had a pretty decent looking card of matches lined up and each was reasonably well built upon in the build-up to the event. However the delivery of some did hamper proceedings somewhat and even.

The opening battle for the United States Title between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston was a nicely paced affair. Both men trading the advantage and near fall situations.

Next up The Miz and his former charge Alex Riley faced off. The duo fared well and showcased their repertoires nicely, although Michael Cole stuck his nose in where it wasn’t needed.

Alberto Del Rio versus Big Show was an odd pairing, the action prior to the match made it even more so and well worth watching.

The Intercontinental match between Champion Wade Barrett and challenger Ezekiel Jackson was pretty much what we expected. Zeke gave Barrett a proper pasting at every available opportunity, the action was pretty dull at times though.

Picking things up pace wise Rey Mysterio then tackled CM Punk. Punk and Mysterio worked hard in this one, each move hitting the mark and livening the night up.

Christian’s attempts to re-capture the World Heavyweight Title from Randy Orton were as always extremely watchable. These two really do bring out the best in each other.

There followed a bonus match not previously advertised. Evan Bourne versus Jack Swagger was a worthy addition to the card and helped retain interest in proceedings. Bourne snagged the win after a sneaky roll-up.

The main event saw R-Truth challenge John Cena for the WWE Title saw Truth making the most of his moment in the sun, his attitude, performance and general demeanour made for perfect headline attraction heel like ones.

Capitol Punishment was an ok wrestling event. There were some decent undercard matches, the (fake) Barrack Obama skits were poor and of very little interest to most people viewing. The results however did help rejig storylines and Mark Henry finally came across like the monster he was destined to be.

WWE Capitol Punishment is available now from and at all good retailers.

RRP £17.99

Running Time: 2hrs 50 mins

WWE Current Champions Pic Dec 2011

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

WWE TLC 2011 - PPV REview

WWE Pay-Per-View Review: TLC (Tables, Ladders & Chairs) 2011

By Phil Allely

Recently WWE PPV’s have been taking a knock for their unimaginative take on their product, this week their latest offering TLC (Tables, Ladders & Chairs) tried its best to get things back on track.

Kicking things off well as Dolph Ziggler’s United States title match saw fan favourite Zack Ryder tackle not only the champ, but his femme fatale Vickie Guerrero once again in a involving battle of wits. This time though Ryder saw his ‘Rough Ryder’ finisher hit home and the title become his.

In an OK encounter Air Boom then successfully defended their Tag Team titles in an unimaginative scrap with Epico and Primo.

Considering the PG nature of WWE programming the tables bout between Randy Orton and Wade Barrett next was an inventive, if not exhilarating effort by both. Orton nailing a nasty enough RKO through a table to gain another tick in WWE’s win column.

Many of us still enjoy the Diva’s matches, the Kelly Kelly versus champ Beth Phoenix seemed a bit rushed though. Phoenix as expected pulled off the win with a hard-hitting ‘electric chair’ style move.

Next up the Booker T and Cody Rhodes match saw Rhodes wipe out T before things could even get moving. This no contest left fans feeling a bit short-changed unfortunately.

The Kevin Nash/Triple H scrap under Sledgehammer Ladder rules had its fair share of moments though. With Nash being in his best shape in years it made this all the better, both he and Trips making the best of the situation and utilising the ladders to enhance their bout. The finish coming as Triple H took Nash’s legs out from under him and then nailed him with a pedigree and a sledgehammer shot to end things in his favour.

Sheamus versus Jack Swagger was a reasonable outing for both, Swagger getting to put forth some decent offence before the Irishman turned things around with Brogue Kick for the win.

The Big Show/Mark Henry Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Title saw both grapplers use steel chairs as weapons on each other and more fan interest than their recent encounters. The ending was also a bit of a shock as Show took the win and title with his knockout punch.

Then as Show celebrated his win Henry struck back with a chair and DDT. Leading to Daniel Bryan finally using his Money in the Bank title shot to capitalise on Shows prone condition and raise his first (and long-awaited) WWE World Title.

The Booker T/Cody Rhodes match then saw itself get a reprieve and this time we got to see Booker get some ring time. Still knocked silly form their previous altercation T was able to strike some offence, but only his spin-a-rooni proved fruitful before Cody put him away for real this time.

The main event TLC (Tables,Ladders,Chairs) match rounded things off nicely as WWE Title holder CM Punk successfully defended his belt against the mighty duo of The Miz and Alberto Del Rio. Well-paced and planned this was the highlight of proceedings for its sheer use of the weapons at their disposal and the inventive uses they had for them. Punk though was able to overcome the odds and scale the ladder to reclaim his cherished gold for the win.

TLC 2011 was a mixed bag of an event, but whilst some matches fell below expectations others did tick all the boxes and we did see a number of new champions crowned too. The big news here was Zack Ryder finally getting the nod of approval for all of his hard work and Daniel Bryan’s MITB cash in saw him achieve the one thing he has been touted for since his WWE debut. It will be interesting to see how things move on from here.

Miss Tessmacher, Brooke Adams Pics

Gail Kim TNA New Pics

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

WWE DVD Review - OMG! Top 50 Incidents in WWE History

WWE DVD Review: OMG! – The Top 50 incidents in WWE History

By Phil Allely

Available as a triple disc DVD or double disc Blu-ray OMG! is an interesting addition to the WWE’s catalogue of releases, the concept here is to run down the top 50 events from the 1980s-2010 that (in some cases allegedly)drew a gasp of Oh My God! from WWE fans.

Taking the form of a rundown of said incidents disc one is a nifty little walk down memory lane for older fans as we get to re-witness some fine/crazy moments including the insane stunt involving Randy Savage, a cobra and Jake Roberts, the slightly sickening Kiss My Ass Club, Jeff Hardy coming off worse in a fight with stage pryo, Shane McMahon’s stunt based wrestling style, Edge spearing Mick Foley through fire and retro spots such as Rowdy Roddy Piper splitting a cocoanut over the head of Superfly Jimmy Snuka, amongst many others.

OMG! is a pretty decent effort by the WWE to compile a definitive list of just what makes it stand out from the crowd and in some ways it also acts as reflection of just how well the company can present a crazy plot or storyline if it wants to.

Discs two and three perhaps are where things get a bit perplexing, they present many of the matches the already shown spots have been taken from and we do find them a bit repetitive, especially when we have already witnessed the key section on disc one.

OMG! is maybe a DVD set for diehards only, or those who have yet to purchase other sets where the events featured already feature. The high spots in the top 50 are well worth viewing, it’s the delivery that fails us here.

OMG! – The Top 50 incidents in WWE History is available now from and all good retailers.

RRP £29.99 (DVD)/£29.99 (Blu-ray)

WWE DVD Review - Randy Orton Evolution of a Predator

WWE DVD Review: Randy Orton – The Evolution of a Predator

By Phil Allely

Now a ten year veteran of the WWE randy Orton has been the centrepiece to a great many of the best feuds of the decade and netted himself a nice collection of gold along the way. This three disc set takes a look at some of his finest matches from 2001-2011 and for the most these matches are well worth repeat viewing.

Taking the same form as most WWE profile releases this is a fine effort and one that does indeed offer up a decent biographical piece on Orton’s life and career to date. Alongside the timeline of The Viper’s rise to the top of the company, we also find a series of (unusually) relevant talking heads to cover key points.

On the match front we get some absolute belters, including ones from OVW and against some of Randy’s finest opponents including Edge, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker and Mick Foley. The infamous ‘Legend Killer’ storyline in covered briefly, although the matches against the likes of Hulk Hogan and Dusty Rhodes are poor in quality, they do tell the tale perfectly.

One other nice point to make about this release is that it doesn’t shy away from Orton’s own demons, he freely admits he had personal issues early in his career, his ill-fated military stint is covered also. This DVD set offers a pretty good overview of the man that Randy has become and you can see that his father (WWE legend Bob Orton Jr) and his wife Samantha are fully behind him as he progresses to his biggest challenge yet (Wrestlemania XXVII), his bout against CM Punk.

That Orton has become and retained his spot as one of the WWE’s top stars is amazing and with his current attitude and outlook on the business it is well deserved. WWE have put together a very good release here and one that will certainly please his fans no end.

Randy Orton – The Evolution of a Predator is available now from and all good retailers.

RRP £29.99 (DVD)/£34.99 (Blu-ray)